Hip Muscle Anatomy And A Muscle Day?

hip muscle anatomy
The author (left) with his Jordy friend, Walter (a real runner), during a 4-mile run along beautiful nature trails near Newcastle Upon Tyne, England.

If I decided to really understand each muscle (striated) in the human body, by studying one a day, it would take me about two years. Even then my understanding would be cursory, at best.

While visiting my friend, Walter in England, recently, my intermittent stopping while running, due to PAD, suited Walter fine because he had a sore hip muscle. He informed me that he had a strained pectineus. Walter clearly had the most difficulty running uphill.

Having never heard of the pectineus, even in horses (I’m a veterinarian, but hell, you can’t know everything), I looked it up on my phone, which revealed a picture much like the one below.

hip muscle anatomy
Pectineus muscle, clearly a hip flexor (lifting the knee) and adductor (pulling leg towards the mid-line). Image license purchased from ShutterStock, Inc.

This picture immediately demonstrated the cause of Walter’s uphill struggles. Up until then, the term hip flexor would have me thinking of the psoas and iliacus muscles. Now I know another. The pectineus muscle.

Whether you are an athlete or you’re just having pain walking around, a good strategy is to work out which muscle(s) is giving you trouble. If it is a muscle. Then work out how to fix it. With or without professional help.

There is much of the information you need on the Internet. It’s no more complicated than fixing your car.

Well, I lied, OK!

It is more complicated than fixing you car, but in either case it comes down to education. How can you fix something you don’t understand?

hip muscle anatomy
Here’s a few more hip muscles to get you started. Fascinating, don’t you think? Image license purchased from ShutterStock, Inc.

Wishing you happy trails and thanks for the pectineal education, Walter. And a great run.

Once you fix that pesky pectineus, you’ll be dropping me on every hill, there’s no doubt about that.

A final note: While watching Walter walking I noticed he had a slight lateral rotation of the same leg. Take a look at that image of the pectineus, and I think you might agree that contraction of the pectineus will contribute to lateral hip rotation. It wasn’t on my radar for hip rotation previously. Old dog, new trick. Furthermore, the pectineus is one of many core muscles, so here’s a link to a video that shows my favorite core exercise, and NO! it’s not crunches.

Here are a few more hip rotators for your interest:

hip muscle anatomy
From my latest book, The True Story of Plantar Fasciitis and Why Heel Injections Should Be Banned. This form of heel pain is actually nociceptive pain.


kev aka FitOldDog

hip muscle anatomy
Grey is muscle, white is fat, clear ring around the central white spot (bone marrow) is the femoral bone.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.